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tv   Disrupt With Karen Finney  MSNBC  December 7, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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hello disrupters, thanks for tuning in. i'm karen finney and like president obama we are talking about equality, taking on did gop's fake war on christmas and remembering the man who fought for peace, equality and reconciliation around the world. >> he no longer belongs to us. he belongs to the ages. >> what do we want in this country is a nonracial democracy. we do not think in terms of color at all. >> the biggest issue that i see out in the horizon is how do we make sure an economy works for everybody? >> the greatest single challenge facing our globalized world is to combat the eradicate its disparities. >> how do we do those things
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that e deuce the equality in our society and broaden equality? >> he was a communist, this man. he was a communist. >> i would make the argument that we have a great injustice right now in the country with an ever-increasing size of government that's taking over and controlling people's lives and obama care is front and center of that. >> yes! he just compared fighting the health care law to fighting aparthe apartheid. a freedom fighter, a radical, a disrupter of the highest order. his birth name means pulling branches of a tree and pull he did. president mandela not only freed a nation, he reminded the world of our common humanity. he put the good of the south african people, all south africans, above all else.
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over the course of his 27 years in prison, mandela wisely used his time to prepare, to plan and to embrace both forgiveness and reconciliation. he learned to let go of hatred for other people, recognizing that one of the true evils of apartheid is how it turned people against one another. in the first press conference, 1990, mandela was himself moved by the broader change that had begun to take place in his absence. >> it's a totally different south africa and along the road i was surprised to see the number of whites would seem to identify themselves with what is happening in the country today amongst blacks. i was absolutely surprised. and i expected that response from blacks but the number of whites seemed to feel that the change is absolutely imperative.
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>> i had the honor of meeting nelson mandela when he visited the clinton white house for a state viz in it 1994. it was his second trip to the united states and his first as south africa's first black president. like so many, i was personally inspired by madiba to believe in the possibility for positive change through collective action. having been a part of apartheid protests in high school and college, to see him standing there shaking my hand was almost overwhelming. from what seemed a hopeless imprisonment to his release and then to the presidency of his country. joining me now, dr. mary francis barry founder of the free south africa movement and michael sculnic. thanks to you both for joining me. it's great to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> dr. barry, i want to start with you because i was reading a snippet from an interview you gave where you were talking about literally the day that
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president mandela was released and you met -- saw him and met him in capetown. can you tell us about that? >> right. i had gone to capetown with others who had been in the free south africa movement, and we persuaded the government that if we got there and we saw that the sanctions had improved things we might have a press conference and make them feel better and we fooled them. we got there and once we got there, we raised hell all over the country and demanded that nelson -- we see nelson and that nelson be released. one night we were in a hotel in capetown and the press followed us everywhere. it was big news all over the country. we were in the hotel and the message came from the ministry that you don't have to keep raising hell all around here. we're letting him out tomorrow. and so, we were in capetown and we were in the mayor's office in
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capetown on that day when mandela came in, one of the things we did is when we found out he was being released we told everybody else and hotel, the workers stopped working and everybody started dancing the toy-toy all over the place and spread all over town but anyway, he came into the room and after all those years working to free him and end apartheid, we saw him. we only had old pictures of him. we didn't know what he looked like. we were asking winny and his daughters who did he look like? but we couldn't imagine and there he was in all of his glory to come in and sit down and speak with us and be with us on that day. >> and i know you said or i read that you also said that you weren't sure what to expect but that beautiful, broad smile was something that just lit up the room as always but certainly on that day. >> yes. he had that twinkle in his eye that had -- nelson mandela
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loved -- he was witty. he loved a joke. he was funny. he was serious but he was also funny. people don't -- he was a human being. >> sure. >> and he had that twinkle in his eye and he was dapper because they had given him nice clothes to wear that day and he liked to be well dressed and he's -- he was such a handsome man anyway and here he was and we thought that he was going to be fragile, frail. >> yeah. >> we thought. there he was and he came and he hugged everybody. he kissed us. he thanked us for what we had done and he and winny sat down and we talked to each other like family before he went out to speak to the crowd. >> wow. you know, michael, i guess that's how i always think of nelson mandela, just even as he got older, he looked so strong and the twinkle in his eye and wonderful smile. it was so reassuring and so powerful at the same time. tell me, because, you know, i specifically wanted us to, you know, share our experiences from across a couple of different
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generations here and i know you were just a kid basically when that happened but it inspired you, as well. obviously, now you are off doing amazing things. talk about that. >> karen, first, it's remarkable to be in the company of two people that met this man and seeing the photograph of you shaking his hand. i was 17 in 1995. my mother took me to african dance camp as a kid and we used to wear the t-shirt and it said on the backstop apartheid and i didn't know what that meant but when he came to a premier in new york i waited six hours and i got to the theater, i just wanted to see the man, see him in person and i took my mother's camera. no flash in the camera and waited six hours and the police were like get out of way, you can't be here, kid. i'm not moving. i have to see nelson mandela. he came out of his limousine. 9:00 at night. the premier started. came out and wearing sunglasses and i was like, that's hip hop.
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that's hip hop. that's my man. and he came out and i just kind of -- grab and shake his hand and he was surrounded by security and i yelled and he smiled and just kept walking in and for me as a 17-year-old kid just to get as the doctor said, a twinkle in his eye, just a look, just a look was good enough for me and certainly inspired my work ever since. >> dr. barry, it sounds like michael could have been with you when you were there raising hell and would have been a great asset when you were there. >> that's right. but let me just make sure i say this for your audience. >> yes. >> although this was all of what we said is true about nelson mandela, he was also a serious man. i remember when he came here to this country and it was in washington and the conversations that we had with him, in his heart he was so eager to figure out some way to solve the poverty problem and to make real change. there was the reconciliation. there was the avoiding of blood bath. there was to make sure that the
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democracy was enshrined in south africa but in his heart and as i think about him now, he was never able to achieve what needs to happen which is to do something about all those millions of poor south africans and the aids crisis and all the problems that bessette them. and so, this was a goal he had, too. not just being the guy who was pleasant and conciliatory and everybody loved him but he knew the harsh reality. >> and many people have described him as being very tenacious, michael. he was a -- you can tell -- i've read his autobiography. he was one heck of a negotiator. >> that's the interesting part of how we remember hem. we think of him as a father of a nation. right? you think of as a warm, compassionate grandfather who would hug you but this man was a freedom fighter. this man was tenacious in his belief that south africa one day be free. this man was not someone to lay down and say, i'm going to do 27 years in prison and go to sleep
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and hopefully get out one day. he was in prison because he knew one day when he got out he would free the nation with his comrades and thing to be said is so many heros in that country that fought alongside nelson mandela but as we remember him, certainly i believe i agree with dr. barry that warmth to remember but let us not forget this man fought. >> dr. barry, final thought to you. i think it's wonderful to hear and see the remembrances of nelson mandela this week. but he was a complicated man. as you say, he was a serious person. i understand he liked to watch "the honeymooners." he was a real human being and had a real journey in his life to come to the place where we now know him and respect him. >> right. his -- the goal was to end apartheid. the goal was to improve the conditions of people in his country. and he thought about that and tried to figure out strategically ways in which he could make some kind of change. and so, everything he did in a
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sense was strategic. he was a human being. he was a fine human being. but it was -- let's not forget he was a great strategist and, yes, he was. i hear people saying, you know, he was a radical and i think the lead-in to the show, something about him being a communist and this and that and the other. he was a guy using everything he could think of and doing it in every way possible to try to achieve freedom for his people. >> right. dr. mary francis barry, it is an honor to talk to you and michael, always great see you. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you so much. next, we take on the faux fox war on christmas. that's coming up. >> happy holidays, everybody! merry christmas! my asthma's under control. i get out a lot... except when it's too cold. like the last three weekends. asthma doesn't affect my job... you missed the meeting again last week!
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while president obama was talking about the root causes of rising inequality in america and mourn the death of nelson mandela who spent lifetime fighting poverty and said, quote, i'm nearing my end. i want to be able to sleep until eternity with a broad smile on my face, snknowing that the you, opinion makers and everybody is trying to unite the nation. well, billy o'reilly the gop and their crew are at it again cranking up a so-called war on christmas. complaining about the semantics of using the phrase happy holidays instead of merry christmas. fox news has even set up a web page for viewers to share their personal stories saying, quote, once again, this holiday season the right to celebrate christmas is under attack. if it's happening in your community, let us know by submitting your story.
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now, i never thought i'd say this but i agree with fox on this one. the right to celebrate christmas is under attack. when over a million unemployed people risk losing emergency benefits, tens of millions of working people can't earn a living wage and kids go hungry because their family can't put food on the table, that is a war on christmas. that is the real war on christmas. and joining me now to talk about it, contributor and president and ceo of voto latino and joe madison. thanks to you both for joining me. >> thank you, karen. >> hi, karen. >> joe, i'm going to start with you, when i saw that fox news website, i thought this is crazy that what they're spending their time on is talking about do we say happy holidays versus merry christmas when we know that in just a number of days 1.3 million people are about to lose unemployment benefits, we also
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know that s.n.a.p. cuts are come and kids are starving. that should be the war on christmas. >> and you would think o'reilly might want to revisit or attend the play or watch the movie "a christmas story" by charles dickens. there's the message. you remember the line of e ebeneezer scrooge. maybe that's what we should call him, scrooge o'reilly. remember the line there, well, don't they have poor houses, poor prisons, prisons for those people who are -- debtor prisons, that's the word. that's the attitude. charles dickens wrote that story because of what england was going through at the time related to what? public policy. >> right. >> and so, that's exactly what we're dealing with. and keep in mind now that by mid-january we may find 800,000
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federal employees again furloughed. >> that's right. >> so how do you spend money, whether it's christmas, holiday or whatever if you're not certain that come mid-january you'll get a paycheck? >> they're basely determined to do whatever they can to make sure that we have bad economic news instead of the good economics newings we had on friday. you know, this week, president obama talked about inequality and an interrue with our own chris matthews on "hardball." i want to play that because i think it was an important message from the president. >> the biggest issue i see out out horizon is how to make sure an economy works for everybody and that every one of the young people can get a good job, pursue a career, support a family, not be loaded up by $100,000 worth of debt, actually, you know, buy a home. how do we do those things that reduce inequality and broaden opportunity? >> maria, some people say it's a
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new message for the president. i don't think it is at all. there's some very serious deadlines coming. 1.3 million could lose unemployment benefits on december 28th. 4 million long term unemployed. when we talk about losing unemployment benefits, how important that is, 1 in 6 living in poverty as pew pointed out this week. the highest income inequality since 1928. of course the president is talking about that. >> there's a problem of wealth problem that we have in this country. it was interesting. the ceo of goldman sachs recently said that the country has no problem making wealth but redistributing it. until we start addressing the idea in the middle of a dwindling middle class and we have children going to bed hungry, 1 in 5 american children go to bed hungry every night. if it wasn't so sad and really against our moral grain, bill o'reilly's war on christmas would be obnoxious.
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right? but it's serious. >> it is not just bill o'reilly. they're talking about that kind of war on christmas and this is the real war on christmas and yet the other war has been the fight against every single thing that this president has tried to do to help the economy, to address these problems. >> and despite their efforts, the economy's actually growing. the biggest problem, though, unfortunately, main street isn't feeling it. how do we have a conversation on poverty? that's a reason why the president's conversation is refreshing because he acknowledged a biggest principles that's holding us back, lack of information with equal education and access for everyone. >> you know, joe, i wanted to share pugh took a look at why are people poor? not surprisingly -- disappointingly not surprisingly, democrats said because of uncontrollable circumstances and 24% said lack of effort. for republicans, it was about
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exactly the reverse. 28% said uncontrollable circumstances versus 57% who said lack of effort. so, that is, of course, why the fake war on christmas that bill o'reilly is choosing to talk about is, you know, semantics rather than these issues of makers and takers, right? >> yeah. absolutely. and this whole thing of christmas versus holiday really is a distraction. it's a diversion from the statistics that you just pointed out. look. let's make something very clear and i learned this, someone told me this a long time ago. no human being on this planet deliberately starves themselves. no one. no one deliberately starves themselves. i don't care where you live. it was nelson mandela that, in fact, said poverty is man-made. >> right. >> man-made. and so, that's what you're talking about. what liberals and conservatives have to understand, conservatives have to understand they think that everything is
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personal responsibility. that it's 100% personal responsibility. sometimes liberals think it's all public policy. the reality is, it's a combination of both. >> sure. >> personal responsibility and public policy. and one other thing about o'reilly referring to mandela as a communist. he once said, wait a minute. churchill and roosevelt joined with stalin. >> right. >> and you called them allies. why didn't you call them communists? so we better understand history and quit allowing the o'reillys of the world to rewrite it. >> joe, you know that o'reilly isn't interested in the complicated details of history. come on. thank you both. we have to leave it there. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, it's a fact as joe pointed out, is he a communist, terrorist, socialist? no, no.
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i'm not talking about president obama. once again, the gop is on the wrong side of history and we got much more on that coming up next. we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays. pop in the drum of any machine... ♪ wash any size load. it dissolves in any temperature, even cold. tide pods. pop in. stand out.
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while most of the right wing spent a few days whitewashing past attacks on nelson mandela a fox host remained consistent in his attacks. take a listen. >> he was a communist, this man. >> yeah. >> he was a communist. all right? but he was a great man. what he did for his people was stunning. the sacrifices that he made, he could have repudiated and got of that prison. he wouldn't do it. he was a great man. but he was a communist. so, but i would never attack nelson mandela. >> actually, billy o., you just did. here's a few facts. it is a fact that nelson mandela was not a communist. it's also a fact that mandela's african national congress is a separate political party from the communist party in south africa. but it's also a fact as president mandela pointed out, quote, for many decades communists were the only
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political group in south africa who were prepared to treat africans as human beings and their equals who were prepared to eat with us, talk with us, live with us. it's also a fact that once again a conservative just could not stop himself from making yet another absurd and offensive obama care comparison. now to date, they have likened it to slavery, katrina, communism and the holocaust and now. >> he was fighting against a great injustice and now i would make the argument we have a great injustice in this country with an ever-increasing size of government taking over and controlling people's living and obama care is front and center in that. >> no, senator. it's a fact that under apartheid, millions of black people or black people as you have been known to call them, were forced into labor camps and a fact that obama care ensures access to health care for millions of americans who actually frees them from
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oppressive fear about the devastating consequences of having health care and while apartheid divided people, the affordable care act unites them. joining me now is representative of california karen bass and white house correspondent for american urban radio networks april ryan. thanks to you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> congresswoman, nelson mandela, the communist. i mean, these guys just don't even know their his. >> ri no, they don't. they -- it's ignorance is embarrassing. it's a reason why the image on the continent had to be repaired after what our role was in the apartheid regime. and why we had to have a mass movement to pressure the u.s. government to break ties with the south african regime. so it's an ignorant statement and it's not surprising coming out of bill o'reilly. >> it is not. april, interestingly enough, i just did a little bit of what i
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call googling on the computer and there was an international freedom foundation and was started by south african authorities with the intention of essentially trying to convince people that the anc was a communist organization and trying to improve the appearance of south africa in the eyes of the west. they -- we have found this quote from a senior south african military intelligence person who said, quote, our strategy was to paint the anc as communist surrogates, the more we could present ourselves as anti-communists, the more people looked at us with respect. people you could have hardly believed cooperated with us politically when it came to the soviets. i mean, april, i was able to find that in like five minutes online. >> yeah. well, i want to put this in perspective. i talked to former president bill clinton yesterday. did an interview with him and he said, you know, with this issue about nelson mandela and his friendships and those who supported him, like gadhafi and
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ka castro, he said we don't look like ourselves view themselves. when we went on the tour, the historic africa tour with bill clinton in the second term and joburg, nelson mandela was asked a question about the friendships and nelson mandela himself said, look, if you don't like my friendship, something to this effect, you can go jump in the pool. >> yeah. >> nelson mandela himself said this. >> yep. >> and you have to remember, you know, that when people are different and they want to change an oppressive regime injustice, they're called different names. called dr. king different names and wanted to slander him. you have to remember, also, karen, some of the reason why in recent times that they have called nelson mandela a communist is because he did not want to go for the united states to go to war with iraq. >> that's right. >> so, so the issue is many americans here didn't want the
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war in iraq either. so are we communists? you know? >> be careful, april. you know, whit's bill o'reilly, you never know. he could be calling us communists any second. congresswoman, you know, here's the other thing. i'm so just tired and i do mean weary tired of this comparison of the affordable care act/obama care to all of these, you know, crazy things. and it's actually offensive. i mean, if you look at like the history of apartheid, again, you can find it in about five minutes on google, we're talking about tactics where people were terrorized, they were waterboarded. people were removed from their homes at gun point and basically relocated hundreds of miles away in terrible conditions. people were -- there was force segregation and as you may remember in 1976, we had the uprising and at least 200 kids, these were basically high school kids killed and showing a
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picture of the kind of signs up everywhere. it reminds you of jim crow but to say that that's any way, shape or form like giving people access to health care? >> well, i mean, you know, again, it is another embarrassing statement. you know, the opposite was true because the way i would look at it, the fight against apartheid was a fight for human rights and it is in the south african constitution that health care is a right. our country is the country that's been behind for so long that we now provide health care to people and so santorum would say that providing health care is equal to apartheid? it is a statement of ignorance. and i think that it's very tragic. so, he wants to go back to not providing health care to people with preexisting conditions. he wants to go back to the conditions of the past. >> right. >> and i think it's a shameful comparison. >> you know, april, as you mentioned you had an interview yesterday with former president bill clinton.
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i wonder if you could share quickly some of his reflections of president mandela. because, obviously, they had a fairly close friendship. >> they were very close. yesterday when i talked to the former president when he -- as soon as he got on the phone. i said, i know. you could hear it in his voice and he talked about how the friendship was so deep. he said, even in times when they disagreed politically, the friendship was still there. he said he would call and ask him about how hillary is doing, hillary clinton. chael sea. he wanted to get on the phone to talk to chelsea to make sure that she was doing her homework at the time. >> wow. >> you know -- yeah. it was very interesting. but one of the takeaways i get from this interview was that this was a real friendship. i heard the emotion in former president bill clinton's voice. i used it in the tape but it was really touching and to see this friendship bare out. i remember being in africa. >> yeah. >> doing the historical africa
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trip and former president bill clinton at the time president helping mandela down to the podium for the press conference and how he revered him and he was an icon. a world icon. two presidents together at the same time. >> yeah. >> they had to deal with world issues at the same time but also had a friendship. and that -- and that president in south africa also helped this president learn how to deal with other people, people who hated him. the word forgiveness is very big for bill clinton coming from nelson mandela. >> yeah. you know, i'll share with you briefly that was a trip i planned for president clinton so that moment was really quite special and very quickly, congresswoman bass, as i understand it you will join a delegation that will be attending the services. can you talk a little bit about what? >> yes. i'm very excited about that. we'll be leaving tomorrow hopefully if all goes well with members of the house and senate, especially members of the congressional black caucus and all going and for me it's really
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going to be an incredible moment. i never had the opportunity to meet president mandela personally but i was very involved the anti-apartheid movement and it shaped part of my upbringing as an activist and being a little too young to have participated in the civil rights movement the anti-apartheid movement was our opportunity to participate in that way. >> that's so true. we have to leave it there. congresswoman, safe travels. april, thank you for being with me. >> thank you. when question come back, why is it acceptable for a 23-year-old offered $3 billion for an app but $3 billion seems like too much to keep a promise to workers who earned it? workers in an american city. that's coming up. turn to roc® retinol correxion®. one week, fine lines appear to fade. one month, deep wrinkles look smoother. after one year, skin looks ageless.
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less red tape, less punitive taxes, more money left in detroit. the answer to poverty and unemployment is not another government stimulus. it's simply leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it. >> yeah, rand paul thinks he can fix detroit with some good old-fashioned trickle down economics. he visited the motor city this week. so here's the strategy. if they can blame democrats' policies for putting detroit in $18 billion of debt, then dissatisfied voters come running into the open arms of the gop. it's all about exploiting the city's desperate situation and after a court ruling this week, that situation could get even worse. a judge ruled that public pensions are not protected in detroit's bankruptcy proceedings even though the state constitution says they are which could leave 23,000 retirees out in the cold. and contrary to right wing myths about corrupt unions and plush retirement packages, the public
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workers of detroit can't actually afford to lose those pensions. >> i don't even know how i'm going to exist after january. it's already the fact i have to sit around and make up my mind whether to take my medicine or eat. all i'm asking is that somebody give me what i earned. i'm not asking for a handout. just do the right thing. that's it. >> joining me now is ron fornier and sheryl levine. thank you for being here. >> thank you, karen. >> ron, you wrote sometime ago there's been a lot of finger pointing and blame game, but as you point out, it's more comp complicated than one thing or the other. >> yeah. detroit's demise is a six-decade story of the institutions of that city letting down the people starting with the auto industry that didn't adapt to the times. the unions that didn't adapt to
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the times. corrupt and incorporate politicians. even the media let down the city. so detroit's demise is in a way i think an analog of what's going on in this country. if we don't stop pointing fingers and help the people who need help, the folks playing by the rules -- >> right. >> and, you know, working hard every day, we'll be in a world of hurt and detroit is really hurting now an it's about to get kicked in the stomach again. >> sharon, a lot of people watching this case because it's not the first city to file for bankruptcy. it's the largest to file for bankruptcy and other cities that may well, you know, fall into the same category. and so a lot of folks watching to see the outcome of this case in terms of filing for bankruptcy and this ruling about public pensions as there's a lot of concern that this could be a trend. >> it's very scary. the pensioneers are seeing
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themselves as disposable. they took less money at the time and now not getting what they were promised. and the idea that these folks earning maybe $18,000 or $19,000 a year in the pensions are the cause of detroit's woes is very unfair. >> you know, ron, it strikes many e that, like, i mean, it is so easy to put it on pensioners and you have heard the rhetoric around washington a long time the makers and takers and really in this situation we are talking about people who earned that money and i think people a lot of times in the conversation forget that, yes, maybe you didn't take a raise and instead you, you know, okay, it was going to be added to my pension and people don't realize that in the current sort of political climate and the conversation we have. >> we are talking about people like my father, a retired detroit police officer who probably never made more than $35,000 a year on the force and who by the way detroit police and firefighters don't get
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social security. so the pension is something that they bargained for, something that they worked hard for. something they were promised and living in a time in society where the promises are broken. detroit is just another example of the little guy getting left behind. we took care of the banks in 2008. we're going to take care of the banks here in the bankruptcy proceedings. why isn't anybody in lansing and washington talking about taking care of the pensioners? why isn't president obama, start with him. start with snyder the governor in michigan. >> ron and sharon to that point, so it's 3.5 billion we're talking about and wanted that in perspective. it is a lot of money but really it's not that much money. here's a list we came up with. facebook offered $3 billion for snapchat. hey, facebook, how about $3.5 billion for the pensioners? it was the beach nourishment
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after sandiment not saying that wasn't important but that's a comparison. we are talking about penal wopl are about to lose everything. $5.5 billion d.o.d. contracts awarded the day before the government shut down. and $13 billion, jp morgan chase settlement. a fraction of that, sharon, could have gone or that kind of money could go to changing the peoples' lives. >> we agree with those kind of numb bers and we think it's very, very difficult for the people of detroit to understand why the governor and government isn't stepping up to the table and come through for a way that's not difficult for michigan to shoulder and talking about the fact that you can't hide behind the bankruptcy and not be accountable and a thing we are seeing, interesting coming into detroit. opening up store fronts. they want the african-american community to reach out to them and hiding behind the bankruptcy
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statute and saying, well, it is the bankruptcy process taking away the pensions. it is not. it's not the bankruptcy statute. >> ron, quickly, you wanted to add something? >> another analogy. how much money did the federal government and the state government put back into new orleans after katrina? and that money was well spent and the city's coming back further than it would if it hadn't been for that money and, you know, that was a natural disaster but this is a six-decade long cultural disaster that needs to be addressed. >> we have to leave it there but for me personally the idea to let an american city just go down like that, i just find that unconscionable and so far away from the values i believe that this country is really about so thank you. >> it should make us all sick. >> it should. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. should promises made to public and sector employees be kept? we want to hear what you think. tweet us or write us on
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facebook. next, the president makes some tough decisions, takes some tough questions, sorry, on the diplomatic breakthrough with iran. stay with us. ready to run your lines? okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt? [ japanese accent ] aflac. love it. [ under his breath ] hate it. helps you focus on getting back to normal? [ as a southern belle ] aflac. [ as a cowboy ] aflac. [ sassily ] aflac. uh huh. [ under his breath ] i am so fired. you're on in 5, duck. [ male announcer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash. find out more at [ male ♪ nouncer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash. hey, that's the last crescent! oh, did you want it? yeah. we'll split it. [ female announcer ] made fresh, so light, buttery and flakey. that's half. that's not half! guys, i have more. thanks, mom. [ female announcer ] do you have enough pillsbury crescents?
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xxxx it is in america's national security interests, not just israel. >> national security interests or the security interests to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically. >> the president appeared at an annual conference on mideast policy and sat down with the for forum's founder. there were concern that is teheran won't hold up its end of the bargain.
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ja joining me now christkri chris kristen welker. it strikes me that part of the goal here for the president was to continue the effort to push back on those calls from congress to potentially have more sanctions before letting this six-month kind of period work itself out. >> reporter: i think that you're absolutely right. that was one of his key goals. he sort of made two primary arguments today, karen. first, the fact that, look, this is a short-term deal. it's a test essentially. it's six months long aimed to determine how serious iran is at scaling back its nuclear program and that secondly, look, he's making the point to congress that any sanctions could undermine this deal. and he said, look, realistically
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trying to get a deal done with congress, would they accept everything? no. that was an interesting tactic to map out the argument and in terms of conversations and based on conversations here at the white house i can tell you that's a key concern, that's really a move forward and try to move forward with new sanctions. there really is a sense here at the white house at least that that could undermine this effort to get a deal done with iran. i also think president obama aiming his arguments at the israeli audience. a lot of skeptics there. >> yeah. >> reporter: 77% of israelis are skeptical of this deal, opposed to the deal. prime minister netanyahu called it historic mistake. so i think the president really trying to push back against some of that rhetoric, as well, because, of course, it is quite different here in the u.s. looking at the polls actually you see that fair amount of americans do support this deal and they don't want to see this head in a military direction. >> right. very briefly, in a little bit of
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time left, we learned over the weekend that the president will mrs. obama will be traveling to south africa as part of the weeklong celebration as i understand it. tuesday's the day for heads of state. >> reporter: we're still waiting to get more details from the white house but you're absolutely right. president obama will travel to south africa along with former president george w. bush, former president clinton also going to attend the services there for nelson mandela. so, i think it is certainly going to be a historic turnout for laying a former leader to rest. also, when you look at president obama, he has some would call a special relationship with nelson mandela. he talks about the fact that his political act was to protest against apartheid. karen, back to you. >> thank you so much. go inside and get warm. >> reporter: thanks. that does it for me. thanks so much for joining us. i'll see you back here tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.
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